Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin plans to ask legislators for pay raises for staff and temporary poll workers, who he says are dealing with an increasing workload as early voting grows more popular.
Ardoin, whose office runs the state’s elections, did not mention how much the changes might cost, The Center Square reports. Any legislation that could affect state finances would require the Legislature’s fiscal office to estimate the impact.
“The timing is probably the best it’s been in quite some time to try to address this issue, especially dealing with the shortage [of commissioners] that we’re facing,” Ardoin said at this week’s meeting of the State Board of Election Supervisors.
According to Brian Champagne, registrar of voters for St. James Parish, temporary early voting commissioners in 2007 were paid the same $200 per day as those that worked on election day. But pay for early voting commissioners was slashed to $100.
As more people vote early, the commissioners, many of whom are elderly, are working longer hours. Officials hope bumping pay to $150 would attract more early voting commissioners.
The board endorsed the concept, which Ardoin says he will take up with lawmakers. He also is asking for more money in his budget for overtime pay for his staff during early voting and election days.
Ardoin also plans to call for legislation that would allow elections officials to verify the validity of early voting ballots on the Friday before a Saturday election day. The actual votes still would not be counted until election day. Read the full story.